Elisabeth “Betty” Wilhelmine Bender

Elisabeth “Betty” Wilhelmine Bender, 86, of Waco, passed away Monday, March 25, 2019 at Providence Health Center.

Visitation: 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Lake Shore Funeral Home

Funeral Service: 3:00 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Lake Shore Funeral Home

Betty was born May 12, 1932 in Kaiserslautern, Germany to Wilheim Franz Trautner and Ernestine Helene Lukas Trautner. She married Mathias Bender in 1951.

In 1955, at the age of 23, they left their homes and families with two babies and two trunks of personal possessions to start a new life in America. After a few years in Rembrandt, Iowa, they moved to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, where they lived until 1972.

In 1972, they moved to Oglesby where they continued raising their five children.

Betty was a proud homemaker while her children were young. She was an avid seamstress, and loved to knit and crochet. For several years, she owned Betty’s Knit Shop in Waco.

Once grandchildren came along, Mathias and Elisabeth were lovingly called Opa and Oma by everyone. Their family was their greatest joy. After retirement, she and Mathias lived on their farm near Oglesby until his death in 2006.

Betty moved to Waco, where she continued happily knitting afghans for wedding and baby gifts. She began creating lap blankets to give to nursing home patients. She found a need at the Methodist Children’s Home and the Family Abuse Shelter, and crocheted hats for children for Christmas. She made over 100 every year.

She found many friends at the Harrison Senior Citizen Center where she participated in craft room activities and created many knit and crochet items that were sold at the Apple Tree Bazaar every year, as a Center fundraiser. She scheduled other activities around Center hours so to never miss a day.

She was preceded in death by two brothers; one sister; her beloved husband of 54 years, Mathias; daughter, Irmgard; one grandson, Daniel; and two great- grandchildren, Lauren and Jonathan.

Betty is survived by her children, Adelheid Bender, Wolfgang Bender and wife, Katherine, Iris Reierson and husband, Kenneth, Anna Slover and husband, James and Brigitte Butler and husband, Joseph. She is also survived by sisters, Ute Cook and husband, Lewis, Ilse Keller, Gisela Goller-Schmidt, Heidi Summer, Ursula Derbisz and husband, Voelker and Christa Dusch and special family friends, Yvonne Janney Goodenough and Alicia Cox, whom she loved like daughters;  17 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends. Many of these children remember Oma’s famous apple pancakes and hot dog pizza!

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to Family Abuse Center or Methodist Children’s Home.


Place of Service: Lake Shore Funeral Home , 5201 Steinbeck Bend; Waco, TX 76708

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Condolence Messages

  1. Trina, we are so sorry for the loss of your Oma. Know that God is holding y’all in his arms and will carry through the days and weeks ahead.

  2. Deepest condolences from Thomas Dusch from germany

  3. Deepest condolences from the Vander Heiden family ❤️

  4. Heidi I am so sorry for you and your family for the loss of your mother. You and I have shared many conversations about our mothers. I can not imagine what you are going through. May God give you comfort knowing your mom is no longer in pain.

  5. I’m So Sorry for Your Loss. She was one in a mmillion. Loved her smile and laugh. My heart goes out to you Anna and Brigette. I know exactly how you feel. I Love Yall

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